Parental encounters: Manners maketh the marriage

Posted on: 16/04/2011

I got a bit depressed with driving for three days to arrive to the bickering, as you will know if you looked me up a couple of days ago.

Since then I am still indecisive as to whether I should point out where they are going wrong or not.  (Currently, if it bothers me too much I ask them to put a lid on it and save it for later.  I say ask, it’s more of an order.)

I read somewhere that bickering is addictive.  I’m not sure about that, but I do believe it is very habit-forming.  It’s like you get a little hit, albeit negative, every time you say something nasty to someone.

But how much better would it be to avoid that negativity?  Well, I think we all know the answer to that.  And of course none of us live in a perfect world.  That resolution I made back in the new year not to lose it with the kids also applied to much beloved.  And I have lost it with him just the once in the last three months or so, when we had a fundamental disagreement about something that really mattered.  (Of course, I’ve forgotten what it was now… let’s just say we resolved it eventually after many tears and much working through of the problem).

But seeing Mum and Dad back at it again has made me realise how essential manners are in a marriage.  If you disagree, even if you are feeling emotional, you can still be civil.   If you can’t be civil to each other, what kind of a marriage are you living in?  Surely you owe it to yourselves to have a code of conduct where you are always polite, whether you agree or not? If you can’t, you might as well be existing together as a pair of mismatched housemates rather than participating in a marriage… How else can you feel the love?

I reckon it’s too late for my parents to change their ways.  But it’s highlighted to me just how important it is. So even if they won’t learn from it, I will.


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